Went down to the farms to see the harvest. We are thinning around 80 acres to 50 basal area (trees very far apart). We are also clearing 1/4 acre on every acre and clearing about four acres that were overstocked.
My plan is to plant longleaf on the 1/4 acre clearings and on the four acres, as well as some under the remaining loblolly. The idea is that we will do a final harvest of the loblolly in about ten years and the longleaf will be established.
In the meantime, the thinned acreage will be wonderful wildlife habitat. We will burn and plant pollinator habitat, which will also make the diverse habitat even better.
My pictures show the harvesting. Clear cuts look like hell,but they are wonderful habitat in the year after, especially for bobwhite quail. The early succession habitat provided food and the brambles that inevitably grow provide cover.
First picture shows the machine doing the thinning. The machine grabs and cuts the trees. Next shows a cutter and a chipper. After that is a log truck arriving. Last is video of the thinning. It is a little hard to see the machine.